In December 2020 the premiere of the first digital as well as international expert panel on the topic of enzyme therapy took place. Five experts from the fields of sports medicine, pain and osteoarthritis were invited: Dr. Bigoni from Italy, sports doctor and surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Milan, Dr. Michlmayr from Austria, specialist in orthopedics and sports doctor, Prof. Dr. Dr. Stein from Germany, specialist in orthopedics, surgery and sports scientist and PD Dr. Ueberall from Germany, pain specialist and on the board of the German Pain League as well as the German Pain Association, with Prof. Dr. Henrotin from Belgium, Professor of Pathology, Physical therapy and Rehabilitation at the University of Liege.
A clear benefit of the enzymes was identified for the patient group of athletes, especially with regard to the current problem of pain medication abuse. In addition, because of their superior safety profile, enzymes are particularly suitable as alternatives to NSAIDs in osteoarthritis patients. However, if the osteoarthritis is advanced, it may be necessary to use additional medication. Understanding the enzyme combination not purely as a pain reliever, but as an “inflammation modifier” is particularly important.
Among other things, the current status of enzyme therapy in practice, which is currently too low, was discussed. In order to increase the level of awareness among doctors and practitioners, an increased presence at congresses, clearer, improved communication of the benefits and the generation of further scientific data are necessary. A planned study in the field of osteoarthritis, which will examine the influence on inflammation and the immune system using the latest scientific methods such as the examination of the inflammasome, measurement of cartilage biomarkers and the protein profile (“proteomics”) using mass spectroscopy, offers a very good first step for this.
PPublications on enzyme therapy and Wobenzym are often impossible or difficult to find on common platforms such as PubMed. Reasons could be the different names of the products used and thus incorrect search criteria and keywords used for the article. The published meta-analysis presented, which confirms an equivalent benefit for knee osteoarthritis compared to diclofenac combined with a superior safety profile, is identified as very interesting and a good basis for discussions with experts, but is too little known.
Due to increasing digitalization, platforms on a professional level such as LinkedIn, ResearchGate, www.sportaerztezeitung.com, and in particular Instagram as a communication medium with affected patients, offer new opportunities that could also be used to raise awareness about enzyme therapy.